Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Skinted and fashionably minted...

 Now I know some folk might find this post a little random, considering much of my blogging is centred around the luxury and unattainable, the utter fantasy pieces that designer's dream up for you and I to perve at... However, I am of humble beginnings and sadly cannot afford to drape myself in haute couture and carry handbags the same price as a car. Well I could if I saved up for long enough...

 Anyway not long after I started pins and needles a dear old friend of mine (you know who you are Richard!) commented on how I always managed to stay abreast of fashion but on an often meagre budget, and suggested I show the reading folk a few of my finds and how you can look on top of it without a Harvey Nicks budget or a lottery win. I have included some of my most recent (and not so) purchases which I am most proud of.

So here are a few of my recent fancy finds for the not so affluent...

Boots, Zara (recent) £99.99

 First up are my humble Zara biker boots (still in stores, £99.99) I am one of those terribly unfashionable Ugg wearers and am planning on a mini pair in black for this winter, as they are like walking on clouds. However my suede cloud boots are no good in Manchester weather conditions, considering we are the wettest city in the land... So I have been on the lookout for a hard wearing pair to withstand the rain, and snow of recent years, and that I can rely on to last a year or three. I was going to be all grown up and invest in a Jimmy Choo pair, however I stumbled upon these little bad boys in my darling Zara. I love the hard, pinky studded exterior and the double buckle detail which are perfect for toughening up my little vintage dresses and suit my minimal Mondays too. Now some may be thinking "thought this post was about bargains" and I for one believe at less than a hundred quid they are a bargain. I have lost count the number of times I've worn them, and they are of such a high quality I know I will still be bashing them around for seasons to come.

Trousers, H&M (recent), £24.99

  Next up is one of my most recent purchases... I am not really a trouser girl because I have quite chunky thighs and am a big bottomed girl so tend to feel a bit self conscious in anything that highlights my Beyoncé-esque legs but I have been dreaming of a pair of Baroque inspired sparkly-esque cropped trousers. I had my heart set on a gold Topshop pair that looked like something Peince would love but alas, they had sold out of my size in one store and disappeared completely from another. Then to Zara, my failsafe shop of late, but their trousers are clearly aimed at tall skinny Eastern Europeans and had no joy again... Last but not least I popped into the world of Scandi joy that is H&M and fell in love... Not only were there lashings of gold, but an Art Deco style floral print AND my all time favourite hue of the year... NUDE!!!! I was shopping for a pair to service me at two events this weekend and these are just perfect. At £24.99 and with a cute slit up the back at the ankles and just the right amount of ankle flash I was sold. Plus I picked up an oversize grey knit for a Christening and I will be slipping on either an oversize boy tee or slinky blouse for drinks... Plus they look magical with the upcoming Zara shoes I am about to wax lyrical over.

Shoes, Zara (last season) £24.99

  My boyfriend treated me to these little Zara treats back in June, and at £24.99 they made my heart beat faster and look like they cost a whole lot more, they also came in  nude/black/orange and turquoise/aqua colour ways for you to collect. They are perfect for me being bright, high and generous in ankle support while I'm dancing the evening away. The most important part is the fact they are really comfortable and easy to wear, which for me is a major selling point. The second pair is also from my favourite Spanish brand, and at £49.99 I think they are brilliant, they are suede and have leather soles too... The best part of the shoe is the back stud detail on the back, and ankle support again which makes them easy to navigate a pavement and will look awesome with my fancy spangly pants, as well as skirts and dresses. My point with these two styles is that Zara footwear is, well pretty awesome. Not only can you often get a pair of heels for less than fifty quid most of the time, but they are always pretty edgy and exactly what you seem to be looking for at the time. Plus it doesn't hurt that they tend to knock of designer clothing accessories really well, on top of that due to Zara operating a vertical manufacture model the stock is much better quality than most high street product it is also more ethical than other stores too.

Jumper, Primark (recent) £12  £5

Jumper, Primark (recent) £14

  My next brag is knitwear, both styles come from the Irish bargain super store that is Primark, I buy a lot of my knitwear here as unlike most of what they offer the knitted stuff is actually surprisingly good quality. As long as you take the time to ssh it properly, or at a push dry clean knitwear will last whatever its price. The first piece is a personal favourite, I am currently obsessed with clashing neons and pat els and this acidic chartreuse piece caught my eye because of the holly design and the fact it is boxy and oversized, which in my book is a key selling point. It looks pretty good layered over tee shirts, shirts and if I fancy being risqué I just chuck it on over a bra.
My next bargain knit was this pastel number, I was lusting after a similar Zara piece that was £44.99 and pretty much exactly the same (save for being actual wool not a synth-mix like mine) but I saved myself thirty quid being savvy and popping in Primark. I love a cable knit and still haven't given up my fetish for all things ice cream coloured and this bad boy fit the bill. Plus it has elbow patches in the same colour and I do love a Grandad detail such as an elbow patch. Plus it looks just darling with my new disco trousers as one can see!

  Next up is this fetching (sadly faux leather) tote, I had just bought a navy crombie as my winter coat and wanted a contrasting colour bag to use for work... I am one of these silly bag ladies who carry their life around with them, and pack for every eventuality (you will find an umbrella, supplements, food, painkillers, camera, sunglasses, magazines, water bottles in there on any given day) so need a good sized shopper or tote and this little lady was perfect. At twelve quid (and coming in black too) I thought it was ideal, especially since I'm not too precious about handbags they tend to get a good bashing so I don't spend loads on them... also it's studded and I am currently obsessed with anything with a stud or lashings of metal work. So this bag was perfect... and it was cheaper than the Warehouse one I'd been eyeing up for a few weeks.

Lastly, is my accessory of the moment... Those of you who know me will know I am like a magpie about accessories. Frankly, I have a 'more is more' attitude to the baubles seen dangling off my outfits. I have been buying high street versions of brands such as Mawi, DanniJo and Tom Binns who all specialise in jewellery of the statement variety. I have found H&M to be the high street God of ripping off these brands, and along with Primark (you have to be selective), Freedom at Topshop and Zara most of my accessories come from here. My BFF Nicola gave me a gift card for the store and I went wild on getting some new accessories for my already bulging collection. In this haul I found this bow cuff and I have rarely had it off since. For the price I am muchly impressed and have got a lot of wear out of it. So, I highly recommend the Swedish store for costume jewellery, especially if you want to add an edgy finish to any outfit. 

So, there you have it! My way of being on trend on a budget... Proof you can be poor and fabulous...

*PS sorry about the less than impressive photos... I need a tripod/professional!

This post is dedicated to my dear friend, follower and the one person I can rely on to fight my corner... Richard Brunt. If it wasn't for his tough talking I may not have had the courage to start this blog.

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